Lent and Easter 2021

We are finalising the programme for Holy Week and Easter, in line with the latest Government and Bishops’ Guidance, and will publish it here on Friday 12th March, and at Masses on the weekend of 13th/14th March. Do check back here then, and we look forward to a journey through Holy Week “at home and in church”

This is a Lent about “Giving, not Giving Up!” We have all been on a kind of Calvary for a year, on the cross with Christ. It has been a year where people have not only given up a very great deal, but also had much taken from us. So this Lent our focus is about preparing most fully for Easter, in a spirit of charitable action, hope and kindness.

Ash Wednesday, 17th February 2021

It was wonderful that over 100 individuals and families came to collect packets of ash, for prayer at home. The link to the Ash Wednesday Livestream Mass remains on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq__6j7s8R0.

Start the day with Jesus – special 8am Mass for schoolchildren and home-workers, each Thursday in Lent, starting on Thursday 18th February.

This extra Mass could become part of your week – as the mornings lighten, and spring arrives, what a wonderful way to begin the day. Each week Mass will focus on something we are giving thanks for.

“Forty days of Food for others”

The food bank continues to be a lifeline for many families in our community. This Lent, why not make a list of 40 items – some basics and essentials, some treats, some toiletries, and sort out one item each day, so that you arrive on Easter Sunday with a wonderful “hamper of hope” to donate to the food bank.

Stations of the Cross

Take half an hour at any point in the week, and pray the Stations, as a reminder of Jesus’ final journey, and as a way to reflect and pray inspired by the characters Jesus encounters on the walk to Calvary. You will find two sets of Stations on the website, recorded with the help of young adults in the parish (thank you to Niamh, Isobel, Ethan and Aidan). They are available throughout Lent, from the time they first go live:

At 7pm on Friday 19th February we broadcast “Stations with reflections on the CoronaVirus Pandemic”, written for Good Friday 2020, when Coronavirus had begun to take hold, and we were in the first Lockdown. These remain on the parish YouTube channel. The direct link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaIBxHYoiRs. The booklet for the Stations is available at the church, and is also downloadable here:

At 7pm on Friday 26th February we broadcast Stations of the Cross written for the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes by the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, and these remain on the parish YouTube channel. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzhOHvWbOSQ and the booklet for the Stations is available in the church and downloadable here:

Lenten Lunch in Lockdown

The Lenten lunches have been a parish tradition for years: a very simple lunch of soup and bread, with money donated to charity.

This year, as we cannot gather for lunch, it’s time to get creative! Look up some tasty soup recipes, and share them with friends. Fix a day each week, and set up a little Zoom call, or phone call, so you can eat and chat together. It could be an especially wonderful moment for those living alone to connect with others.

The charity for this year’s Lenten Lunches will be the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society. They are providing tireless counselling support to children, young people and families suffering the effects of the pandemic, such as bereavement, increased domestic abuse, stress and pressure affecting mental well-being. They work with thousands of young people each year, and they have been working non-stop since last March. Their usual major collection would be around Christmas, but that was very limited this year. With fundraising so curtailed, they need money to continue their vital work. You can donate your “lunch money” in cash at the presbytery (mark the envelope BCCS Lent) or direct to the BCCS via bank transfer or online (use the reference RomfordLent). For donation details click here: https://www.bccs.org.uk/take-minute

More information, including Holy Week and Easter

Come back to this page after 12th March for more details including a Penitential Service and arrangements for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We are waiting for the Government reviews on the Covid-19 restrictions before making final decisions about what is possible later in March, and in April (Easter Sunday is 4th April).